The Five (And Only Five) Times it Might be OK to Tap a Retirement Account

Eleanor Blayney

Back in November, I spotlighted a letter from a reader who agonized over a debt dilemma that involved his retirement savings. “Nick from Michigan” wanted to tap his 401(k) to pay off $12,000 in credit card debt, but couldn’t pull the trigger. I talked to a few financial experts who all said the same thing: […]

Funny Money: How to Deal with Mechanics When You Know Nothing About Cars

A broken car in the snow

Some smart people really love dumb people with problems. Because they are smart enough to know they can trick the dumb people with problems into giving them lots of money to fix those problems … that only they are smart enough to fix. The smart people in this instance are car mechanics, and the dumb […]

Your Tax Document Checklist: The No-Stress Guide To Filing Your Taxes, Part 1

Use our free federal tax document checklist to help you get organized for your tax return.

This is part one of Money Under 30’s six part “No-Stress Guide To Filing Your Taxes”. First thing you need to do is make sure you have all the forms and documents you need. It’s a lot less stressful to gather your info before you start.

This Post for Rent: 8 Tips for Landlords, Renters in the Under-30 Crowd


Just as the Great Recession hit homeowners with a mighty wallop, it also took a toll on rentals, with bad news for landlords and tenants alike. According to the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, vacancy rates reached a new high of 10.6 percent in 2009, with a growing portion of renters unable […]

Funny Money: The 7 Rules of Ridiculously Cheap Gaming

A guy playing video games

There are more degrading and addictive forms of entertainment than video games. Like maybe My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, crack, and … huh, did I mention crack? It’s hard to come up with anything more addictive than gaming. Unfortunately, controlling flashing pixels with your thumbs is depressingly costly when you step back to evaluate […]

How Do You Balance Saving for Retirement With Other Goals?

Aim to allocate 50 percent of your savings to retirement.

It’s perhaps the biggest financial quandary facing every young saver: Personal finance advice –- including our own — implores you to save as much for retirement as possible. But the younger you are, the more likely you have other important goals ahead: Repaying student loans, buying a home, getting married, taking time for extended travel, […]

♥ & $: Planning Your Dream Wedding? Might Want to Rethink That One

I went to get my hair cut the other day and my stylist, Sergio, told me he and his fiancé have finally set the date for their wedding: September, 2013; only four years after the birth of their son. As Sergio said, “Better late than never.” Much controversy has arisen over the deep decline in […]

13 Inexpensive and Unique Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

It’s that time again. St. Valentine is going to be spreading his love to everyone in just a few short days. Valentine’s Day, February 14, is right around the corner! Commercial holiday or not – are you ready to give an awesome gift to your sweetie? Valentine’s Day gifts don’t have to cost a fortune. […]

Money Mentors: Erin Cerat on Paying Cash, Babysitting on the Side, and Buying a Home

Erin Cerat and family

For this “Money Mentor” post, I wanted to bring attention to someone who’s doing the little things right. It’s really a chance to ask a thrifty friend — the one who seems like she always has it together — the secrets to her success. Meet Erin Cerat, a 31-year-old special education teacher and new mom […]

What Percentage Of Income Can You Afford For Mortgage Payments?

What percentage of income can you afford for mortgage payments

Learn the rules of home affordability to figure out what percentage of your gross monthly income you can safely spend on housing. Caution: Your mortgage lender may very well approve you for a bigger mortgage that you can actually afford.